Business ebbs and flows. There’ll be times when you’re slammed with work and you can barely keep up with projects and client requests. Then there will be the other times when you’re scrambling to find work while your bank account steadily decreases. Regardless of ebb or flow, you have to stay motivated as a contractor, otherwise, your business is in jeopardy.
“In jeopardy? That seems a bit dramatic,” you might be thinking. It could be, but frankly, it’s not. Motivation is what keeps you looking for new work and making sure your current clients are happy. If you aren’t doing both of those things when you’re busy it won’t have much of an impact.
But when things are slow, you’re going to really notice that your motivation wasn’t as high as it should have been. To make things worse, when things get slow, you start to worry and make decisions that might not be the wisest approach and things could get even worse.
So, how can you stay motivated so that when things get slow or you want to branch out, you can keep things going at a steady pace? Here are some suggestions.
Create one, five and ten-year goals for your business.
Sit down and write out your goal for the current year, the next five years and the next ten years. Obviously, you’ll start working on your current year immediately so you should always have a goal in the works. If you work through all your current year goals, start on the five-year goals. By doing this, you’re always looking forward and planning for the future of the business.
When business gets slow, you can take a back-burner goal and move it to the front burner. If you look proactive and forward-thinking, customers are going to notice.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you’re not busy or in a slump, let your customers know. Now, this doesn’t mean you make a post like, “Hey, we have no business, so contact us!” Instead, you can make a post such as, “If you’ve been considering working with us, this is a great time to contact us so we can get together and talk about your needs.” It says the same thing, but the first sounds desperate, while the second sounds like a great invitation.
Another way to remain motivated is to talk to your customers and social media followers about your craft. Share pics, explain techniques, even have an ask-me-anything event. This can help you stay in touch with your customers while finding out what they’re interested in learning about and having done in their homes.
Take Some Time Off
If you’re in a position to do so, turn that lull in work into a vacation. You most likely haven’t taken more than a few hours off in a long time, so this could be a blessing in disguise. Sometimes a lack of motivation is the result of exhaustion.
You might not feel exhausted, many people who love what they do often don’t feel run down even if they are. Take the time and do nothing. Chill with your family. Take a trip. A week or two away from work could be just what you need to get your motivation back.
Have you had a slump before? How did you snap out of it?